Reading Education Assistance Dogs®
The Reading Education Assistance Dogs® program (R.E.A.D.®) helps children improve their reading and communication skills by using therapy dogs as reading companions. Dogs may not be able to read, but they make great listeners with their non-judgmental presence.
Our therapy dog teams work one-on-one in a quiet area with two to three students each week for a full semester. The teams spend about 20 minutes with each student. Continuously working with the same students helps achieve measurable improvement in reading levels.
R.E.A.D.® helps children feel like they’re a tutor or helper for the dog, rather than part of a remedial program. This is both liberating and satisfying, freeing the children from performance pressure.
Teachers, reading specialists and library professionals who have incorporated R.E.A.D.® into their primary education programs have been unanimous in their enthusiasm for the idea that children who struggle with reading will benefit from the opportunity to tackle their challenges in the presence of an accepting, non-judgmental animal companion.
WHAT TEACHERS SAY
“The students in my class who participated in the program developed a great sense of confidence and became oral readers in the classroom… [and] all student participants improved in their PM Benchmarks… this was my first experience with R.E.A.D. and I couldn’t be more impressed. The sense of calm and the improvement of self-esteem in my neediest student was unbelievable.”
— Ottawa teacher